Archive for October, 2014

Come, Now Is The Time To Worship

“I’m just not getting fed”. How often have you heard this? At first it sounds legitimate enough. If someone in the church is not “getting fed” in the worship services, then obviously something’s wrong. Usually, it’s the pastor who is the source of the malnutrition. Either he’s not “preaching the Word,” or the Holy Spirit isn’t “anointing” what he’s preaching, or he’s not wearing the right clothes. In any case, it’s his fault.

But is the central purpose of the worship service to “feed” people?

In the first place, it’s unclear what is meant by “fed”. Does it mean not providing something you “feel” should be provided to you? Does it mean you don’t like what is being provided to someone or others because it “really doesn’t apply” to you at the moment.

Let’s remember that we come together for the chief purpose of worshipping and magnifying God. Recognizing the value and importance of God is the central focus of what we do in worship, not coming to see whether the pastor and choir can succeed this time in making us happier than when we came in. Shepherds don’t feed sheep. They just lead them to a place where they can graze.

Our audience in worship is God. He’s the only One who should be of first importance. The question we should ask following worship isn’t, “Was I well fed” but “Was God well pleased?” The pastor and the choir (and everyone else who participates in worship) are there for the expressed purpose of leading the people in the exaltation of God.

Through praise and hearing biblical preaching, we are brought face to face with God and his purposes for us. The result should be confession, repentance, cleansing from sin, a call to greater loyalty and obedience, and a renewed vision of the Kingdom of God. If there’s any feeding to be done, it’s by the Spirit of God who is present among us. He delivers to us conviction of sin, brings to mind the things of Christ, enlightens the truth of the Gospel, and equips us with all the provisions we need to carry out God’s will.

Believers (the sheep) are expected to feed on God’s Word in their daily devotions, during the week whenever Bible studies are offered, and wherever else they find the opportunity. They are expected to join prayer groups and offer their time and talents in whatever tasks the Spirit leads them to do. In this discipline of regular (and selfless) exaltation of God, reading of Scripture, solo or corporate prayer, and ministry to others in need, we are both nurtured and matured.

We don’t come for ourselves, but for God first and then for one another. When we arrive at the door of the church, let’s come in with the expectancy that as we magnify our Lord, he is perfectly able to nurture us so that we can help, encourage, and feed the truly hungry around us.